Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Giving A Rat's Ass About Running
(This is the part where all the runners with children throw eggs at my blog in bitter jealousy that I have built-in caregivers to help whenever I want to run).
Alas, I have reached the point in both my academic and physical fitness journey where I need to embrace the solitary run. I've been on my doctoral journey for four and a half years, taking classes, seminars, partnering in research projects, and basically doing everything that an academic can do with other people before the final lap: The Dissertation. I remember a conversation with my assistantship supervisor when I began writing and wanted advice. She said, simply, "If you don't give a rat's ass about your dissertation, no one else will." Kind of like running. No matter the goal, you can train with partners, follow a training guide, fuel and hydrate based on the experts' advice, but when it's race day, it's all you.
So I get up every morning, make coffee, and head to school to write for a minimum of four hours at a time. That's the promise I made to myself. Four hours a day, five days a week, no matter what. Some days I stare at the blinking cursor and the clock on the wall, willing the words to appear on the page and the hours to pass more quickly. Other days, the words and hours fly and I can't wait to come back the next day. It's mostly uphill and mentally exhausting, but I really, really want those three letters that come at the finish line: PhD. So I keep at it.
Now, running alone? That's my next challenge. How do I make the same sort of commitment to my physical self? My husband and I have found a good routine on the weekends, getting up and going for a run, planning our Saturday as we huff and puff, running toward that hot cup of coffee and sleepy-head toddler waiting for us at the finish line. But the weekdays are sporadic, still not in a solid routine that works for both of us so we end up with a couple days a week. So, this week's challenge is to find a routine that works for me. Because, after all, if I don't give a rat's ass about my, well, ass, who will?
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